Relapse after 5 years of sobriety

Hello! I relapsed on Christmas 2022 after 5 years of sobriety and am on day 3. Lots of thoughts/feelings and emotions. Anyone else have similar experience?


Hello and welcome to the forum. There are people here with similar stories but this fella is one truly inspiring human. I’ll post his thread below so you can read more about him if you would like. I think he had nearly 10 years before a relapse.

Alcoholic fisherman in recovery

What do you think lead to your relapse?


I feel you. I relapsed a couple days ago after almost 2 years and I relapsed again tonight. I can blame the stress that I’ve been under after my husband was seriously injured and all that. I don’t know. But I know I want to try again. Because we can’t go down this path. We already know the outcome.

At least for me I do. :disappointed: But I have 2 wonderful daughters I can’t let down. They are my strength.

You have that inner strength my friend. Find it. You know you can.


Nope, but I sure am glad you’re back with the sane folks. Hugs Andy


Yep: me!
Sober for a long time now, but relapsed after 5 years of sober time. If you see my profile you can read all about it.
Long story short: I thought I was cured after 5 years not drinking.
I was not.
At first I could moderate but soon I was drinking like the old days. I found this app and quit again.
The good thing is: you did it before, so you can do it again! You know what works for you!
I know it makes you sad by starting all over. But to be honest, those 5 years sober are not for nothing. They are not “gone”.
In september I’m 5 years sober again. Mixed feelings about it, but deffinitely not going to drink again ever. I know where it leads to.
I’m never “cured”, so sober suits me better.
Welcome here! :raising_hand_woman:
Congratulations with day 3 and see you around!!


There are definitely other members with a shared experience. I am so glad you found us and are back at sobriety. Hope to see you around!!


Welcome! You are not the first, nor the last. However, it can be your last relapse.


One of my biggest obstacles that made it hard for me to stay sober after my relapse was not appreciating shorter periods of sobriety. For example, 30, 60 and 90 days didn’t mean much because I chose to drink again when I had been sober for a much longer time.

Choosing to drink again and not being able to control it was a bitter pill to swallow. I thought I had it all figured out. When drinking wasn’t working instead of accepting that I tried and it was a bad decision. I felt like I had to try even harder to make drinking work. Failure wasn’t an option.

Today, I’m grateful for recovery. I have a good life. I’ve been able to do things I would never do as a drunk. Good things!

Im glad your here! Welcome!


I had relapses mostly around a certain milestone e.g. 6 months, a year, 1,5 years. I’m 29 months sober now. For me the relapses started well before those landmarks. My addictive mind was already preparing for it with thoughts like if this then…not setting my boundaries, it’s holiday reasoning and of course the idea that I was cured after a certain period sobertime. Of course that wasn’t the case, I’ll have to be and stay vigilant on things that made me relaps in the past and try to keep it ODAAT.

Welcome to the forum!


I relapsed last summer after 8 years of sobriety. The last 2 years or so of sobriety were difficult, but looking back it was still better than this past year of fighting this battle again. I’m on day 2.
Good wishes to you. I know how frustrating it feels.


I was sober for several years when I relapsed.
I wasn’t doing the work, I believed ppl who told me “Come on, forget that now. You’re doing good, come enjoy life and have a drink”.
Here I am, doing the work but different this time.
I remind myself every damn day how it felt being that miserable. And I won’t stop. And I definitely won’t give the control over myself to other people any more. I’m responsible for myself.


Terrified of this happening- that’s for the reminder :smiley:


I relapsed when I was 65 days sober and I look at it now as a huge learning experience. We might make a mistake but we don’t have to make it more than once. I avoided another relapse this week because I reacted differently based on the insight I’d gotten from it. I went from self loathing and shame to accepting I couldn’t change the past but motivated for the future. We sober folks are warriors!


You make a great point. Thank you!

I relapsed twice 2years 8months and then after 18months this is my 3rd go at it currently at 46days I’ve went bk to AA and I’m staying this time :pray:t2:


I went to my first meeting in 1986 i had the desire and was willing to go to any lengths got a sponsor who guides me through the steps , over the years deaths, disappointments, anger, frustration, hurt , every trigger but i staid sober i have friends in the fellowship who like me never went out again a lot over 30 years sober now and i know its only for the day who ever is up earliest in the morning is the longest sober that day , everyone have agreat day


Ray, you are inspiring to me. Congratulations on your 30+ years.

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Ohhh boyyy. The first days are rough, but you KNOW the feeling of having years…
I sunr know that, I’ve had a couple of months, but wasn’t really serious about stopping…I AM NOW🙆🏼‍♀️
I don’t want to go backwards, this naltrexton is helping with the cravings, and reading the Big Book UNDERSTANDING our addiction… Normies have NO IDEA… the struggles.
Good Luck… God knows our pain.

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Reading this thread is good for me. I’ve had many relapses and periods where I thought I could moderate. It’s getting easier now, everyone around me knows I don’t drink, and they’re getting used to the idea, but it still tugs at me, and I know I could slip back into it if I’m not careful. A big thanks to all of you for the warnings and inspiration!